Blackhawks

St. Patrick's runs wild in win over Glenbard South

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St. Patrick's runs wild in win over Glenbard South

By Patrick Z. McGavin
SeasonPass.com

It is not very often a 300-yard rushing game becomes a footnote. Count Jeremy Molina among the skeptics. I didnt think it had a very good chance after seeing it in practice, the star junior Shamrocks running back said.

St. Patrick won its first state playoff game in eight years with a parlor game trick, a visual sleight of hand that turned a tight-game into a convincing 41-15 victory over Glenbard South in a first-round Class 6A state playoff game at Hanson.

St. Patrick (7-3), the eighth-seed, advances to meet top-seed Cary-Grove in second-round play.

With the Shamrocks up 14-9, receiver Steve Galiardo caught the second half kickoff at the 20-yard line, where he was immediately converged upon by five other Shamrock players. They formed a huddle and hid the ball.

As the Raiders return team converged on the bunched up group, St. Patrick broke out of the circle, with John Dabe carrying the ball. Dabe made one move and ran untouched 80-yards for the touchdown. St. Patrick had never attempted the play in a game before. Our special teams coaches came up with it, seeing something on film, St. Patrick coach Dan Galante said.

It really changed the momentum of the game, he said. Dabe scored two touchdowns in a 25-second second stretch dating to the end of the second quarter. His 16-yard touchdown catch from sophomore quarterback Zach Fuller (12 of 20, 169 yards) gave the Shamrocks the five-point halftime edge.

Molina was a force of nature. He gashed the Raiders for 302 yards on 32 carries. He scored touchdown runs of one, 13 and three yards. We really were excited to play, we put the pressure on the offensive line to come out and play today, Molina said. You have to give them credit. They created a lot of big holes. It was fun to run out there.

Glenbard South (6-4) stayed close for two and a half quarters. Following the kickoff return score, quarterback Alex Jeske threw a beautiful 65-yard touchdown pass to Clark Gary that pulled the Raiders within 20-15.

Behind Molina, the Shamrocks threw the hammer down. The kickoff return provided the spark, but Molinas pounding style proved to be the bread and butter. Galante challenged the Shamrocks to play up to their abilities in the second half. Even when teams have stacked the box against us, we have shown the ability to run the ball, he said. Its the straw that stirs the drink. I thought, in the second half, we came out and played our style of football.

After the Raiders score, Molina answered with a 37-yard burst that set up his own 13-yard touchdown run down the right sideline. His 22-yard run keyed his third touchdown.

I think we kind of underestimated Glenbard South in the first half, and thats probably why we were a little sluggish, Molina said.

Running back Matt Loos scored on a five-yard jaunt set up by running back Zach Smiths 43-yard halfback option pass to Justin Gjerazi that knotted the score at 7-7 early in the second quarter. Glenbard South took its only lead, 9-7, on a safety after St. Patrick snapped the ball out of the end zone late in the second quarter.

Blackhawks looking for defensive improvement from everyone, not just defensemen

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USA TODAY

Blackhawks looking for defensive improvement from everyone, not just defensemen

The Blackhawks were able to get away with their defensive lapses in the past solely because of Corey Crawford. When he went down with a concussion last December, those issues were magnified because he wasn't there to mask the flaws.

But it's reached the point where they can't rely on their goaltender to bail them out on a nightly basis, which is becoming another trend. Cam Ward allowed six goals to Tampa Bay on Sunday night, but made 49 saves — including 30 in the second period alone. He did everything he could to keep his team withing some sort of reaching distance and without his timely stops, the scoreboard could've looked much worse for the Blackhawks.

Something's got to change. 

When the Blackhawks talk about tightening things up defensively, they're not just putting it all on the defensemen. All five guys on the ice need to do their part and they're not doing it right now.

"I think we're trying to do too much and running around trying to do each other's job," Jonathan Toews said. "Sometimes we just need to simply and finish our checks and support each other."

No team has given up more even-strength high-danger chances through eight games than the Blackhawks at 110. That's 15.77 per 60 minutes. For reference, the New York Islanders finished worst in the league in that category last season and their number was at 12.96.

It didn't help that the Blackhawks spent nearly the entire second period in their own end on Sunday.

"We just couldn’t get it out of our zone, couldn’t get our stick on it, didn’t see pressure, didn’t feel pressure when we had it, were stripped," coach Joel Quenneville said. "Hence, we didn’t advance it. Kept looking like we were going up the ice and there were going to be some odd-man situations and then we’re the ones who were facing it."

That's one way to eliminate those high quality scoring chances, is getting the puck out of their own zone effectively or else it opens the door for Grade-A opportunities because of self-inflicted wounds. And it usually happens at the end of shifts when guys are tired, which often leads to goals.

"We have to learn how to play without the puck better and learn how to keep it," Quenneville said. "Whether it was our execution going up the ice, first pass poor and then we couldn’t change. A lot of things that happened yesterday were there tonight."

The Blackhawks weren't using three games in four nights as an excuse because Tampa Bay was in the same situation. It was an even playing field in that respect.

It's all about execution from everyone involved, forwards and defensemen. And the Blackhawks feel they're correctable issues.

"Of course," Toews said. "We've had some good periods this season so far. The first three, four, five games, everyone was excited and you guys are all talking to us much differently than you are right now. It's just getting back to playing that smart defensive game and playing with effort and letting our offense do the work. We know what's got to improve. It's right there in front of us."

White Sox sign Enoy Jimenez, the 17-year-old brother of Eloy Jimenez

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White Sox sign Enoy Jimenez, the 17-year-old brother of Eloy Jimenez

One Jimenez just isn't enough for the White Sox.

The White Sox signed the younger brother of top prospect Eloy Jimenez this weekend. Enoy Jimenez is a 17-year-old infielder, and the 21-year-old outfielder ranked as the No. 3 prospect in baseball was on hand for his brother's big moment.

Eloy figures to hit the big leagues early next season, though it will likely be a while longer before his teenage brother could do the same. Still, they're likely hoping for the chance to play together one day.

According to this pretty exhaustive list from MLB.com, four sets of brothers have played together on the White Sox: Homer and Ted Blankenship in the 1920s, Dick and Hank Allen in the 1970s, Roberto and Sandy Alomar in 2003 and 2004 and John and Jordan Danks in 2012.

Should we be getting ready for the fifth pair?